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CNET First Look
Digital Storm Ode Level 3The fixed-configuration Digital Storm Ode Level 3 earns top marks in an increasingly competitive gaming PC market thanks to a smartly chosen set of components and an enticingly low price tag.
-Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for cnet.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the editor's choice winning Digital Storm Ode level 3. So, this is a fixed configuration gaming desktop. It cost about 2400 bucks and it's actually one of the best systems we've seen in this price range. It has fast gaming performance and over and overclocked Intel Core i7 CPU and pretty much every feature we expect to find for this price. One of the things we like most about the system is its external design. This white-black case is pretty handsome and it's actually convenient to use. You'll see the front panel here is nice and clean and it's got a Blue-ray DVD combo drive here on top and here on the top of the case there's a couple of ports. You've got 4 USB 2 ports and USB 3 port, fire wire inputs as well as a couple analog audio jacks and this dial here will let you control the fan speed in case you wanna kind of dial down the noise as you're using the system. On the back of the system, you'll see one of our few criticisms. You'll notice this wire coming out from the case and into the USB 3 port here on the back. That actually connects to this USB 3 port to the USB 3 port at the top of the case [unk] USB 3 in the system. This kind of external wiring is definitely an amateurish design position. Otherwise, you get all the ports you would like to see in a system like this. There're tiny USB 2 ports in the back of the system as well as 1 free USB 2 slot. There's a PS2 old school mouse and keyboard jack. You get eSATA as well as powered eSATA. There's 7.1 analog audio as well as SPDIF/optical audio out up here. Now, between the 2 graphics cards here, you'll also get a lot of display out options. You got 4 DVI outs and HDMI output on each card as well as a full size display port out on each card. Now for gaming purposes, the system probably is an ideal if you wanna set up multiple high resolution monitors, but if you wanna connect a large TV or couple low-risk screens, the system is definitely up to the test. Now, we mentioned the case is easy to use and by that most that we mean is easy to get inside. There is lashes on the side panel. If pulled down and the door pops up just like that. It's nice and easy. Now, inside the case, it's actually something we haven't seen before. This plastic plate installed on top of the motherboard covers up all the circuitry and the transistors you usually see inside the case and it definitely goes a long way towards ** up the all overall appearance here. Between plate and the wiring that's pretty much invisible in the system. Digital storm has really done a nice job inside the case. Component-wise, it's pretty straight forward stuff for system in this 2500-dollar price range. Up here, you got the liquid cooling hardware going down to an Intel Core i7-2600K CPU and its CPU is overlocked of 4.8 gigahertz, making it superfast and that is how digital storm sells the system. For memory, you get 8 G around with this PC as well as 2 free slots if you wanna upgrade later. You'll see this 2 NVIDIA and GTX 570 graphics cards and there's 2 1x PCI Express slots on the motherboard. They're little bit hard to see. For the hard drive, Digital Storm gives you a 120 gigabytes solid state drive that has windows on it, and for general storage, and you get a terabyte drive down here. Then you can also see from other free drive base here that there's plenty room to expand, but that's said there's no cabling behind the slots, so you have to do that yourself. So, in our lab, we found the Ode Level 3 as one of the fastest if not the fastest gaming PC in this price category. So, between its speed, its features, its great looking case, and its aggressive price, the system is an easy editor's choice winner. So, I'm Rich Brown, this is the Digital Storm Ode level 3.